Thielemann, who constantly surprises even me with his self-imposed self-importance, is only a month away from turning in yet another underwhelming, uninspired, and interminable Wagner performance. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't the Ring and the venue weren't Bayreuth. In discussions with several colleagues, I have heard Thielemann called "the great white hope." I call him mediocre. At best. His hype is infinitely better than his talent. Have you heard his Tristan? His Alpensinfonie? His Beethoven 7th? I have and I wanted to vomit. Repeatedly and with gusto.
With Rattle at the Philharmonie and Barenboim at Unter den Linden, perhaps it should be obvious what the Berliners think of Thielemann. Let him keep the Deutschen Oper. Keep him away from Bayreuth. His mediocrity, for all I know, is contagious.
Unless Wolfgang Wagner really likes conductors who wear salmon Polo shirts. That, friends, is indeed a horse of a different color. Did I say horse? I meant jackass. I get them confused.